Dawoud Bey (born 1953), John Edmonds (born 1989), and Wardell Milan (born 1977) — contemporary African-American artists from three generations — all consider how photographs continue to shape Black American experiences.
In these works, from series made between 2017 and 2019, the artists grapple with African-American visual representations over time. They are driven by various questions: What can photographs actually document? Can they evoke experiences of the past? Can their contexts be reinvented? Using a range of aesthetic strategies, Bey, Edmonds, and Milan each transform histories of violence and present complex and poetic visions of Blackness.
The works were all recently acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Presented in collaboration with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.